In order to stream audio on your website, you must upload the audio files as MP3 format (.mp3) to your multimedia resource library. MP3 is a standard encoding option for all audio editing tools. The advantage of MP3 is that it will play in the new HTML5 player and the old Flash Player (both are integrated on your site), and universally compatible with modern and older browsers. That means visitors don't need to download a special player, i.e. Windows Media Player (which isn't supported on Mac anymore), Real Player, etc. The MP3 format is superior to all these other formats, because it works for everyone.
It is important that you encode your MP3s correctly to ensure proper playback. Always use a Standard bit rate (not a Variable Custom bit rate). Standard bit rates include 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 80, 96, 112, 128, 144, 160, 192, 224, 256 and 320 kbit/s. The one you use will depend on the type of audio file:
There's no need to use a high bit rate with spoken word recordings. We recommend 32 kbit/s for these. Also be sure to do mono (no need for stereo on these). This will save file space on the server, and make your audio stream faster to your visitors.
For live or studio recordings of music, 128 kbit/s is recommended, preferably in stereo rather than mono.
"Hey! My pastor sounds like Alvin the Chipmunk! What's up?" This is caused by an incorrect MP3 sampling rate. When you encode an MP3 at a lower bit rate for a spoken word recording, such as 32 kbit/s (which we recommended), you may end up with a sampling rate that isn't supported by the Flash audio player in your site (this shouldn't be a problem with the HTML5 player). The Flash player only supports two sample rates: 22,050 samples per second, and 44,100 samples per second. You should be able to adjust the sample rate of your existing MP3 to one of these sample rates (or re-encode the MP3 file from the source recording, with the proper sample rate setting).